On a twelve-month voyage to Mars, one astronaut will require at least two tons of potable water and two tons of pure oxygen. Efficient, reliable fluid reclamation is therefore necessary for manned space exploration. Space habitats require a compact, flexible, and robust apparatus capable of solid-fluid mechanical separation over a wide range of fluid and particle densities and particle sizes. In space, centrifugal filtration, where particles suspended in fluid are captured by rotating fixed-fiber mat filters, is a logical candidate for mechanical separation. Non-colloidal particles are deposited on the fibers due to inertial impaction or direct interception. Since rotation rates are easily adjustable, inertial effects are the most practical way to control separation rates for a wide variety of multiphase mixtures in variable gravity environments. Understanding how fluid inertia and differential fluid-particle inertia, characterized by the Reynolds and Stokes numbers, respectively, affect deposition is critical in optimizing filtration in a microgravity environment. This work will develop non-intrusive optical diagnostic techniques for directly visualizing where and when non-colloidal particles deposit upon, or contact, solid surfaces: 'particle proximity sensors'. To model particle deposition upon a single filter fiber, these sensors will be used in ground-based experiments to study particle dynamics as in the vicinity of a large (compared with the particles) cylinder in a simply sheared (i.e., linearly-varying, zero-mean velocity profile) neutrally-buoyant, refractive-index matched solid-liquid suspension.